THE CAM STUDENT TALENT AGENCY AND ITS GROWTH
Students in the College of Arts and Media (CAM) had a tremendous opportunity to engage with the working world back in Fall of 2016. They were able to begin working with mentors from CAM to start their journey in the field of media and jump-start their entrepreneurial psyche.
CAM’s Student Talent Agency (STA) has already connected a variety of students with experiences working with local community partners, as well as mentoring and nurturing CU Denver’s entrepreneurial abilities. The program has also indicated improvements in increased transparency about the monetary scoop, and the future direction for the program.
Convincing outside entities that paying college students for work is worthwhile has been no simple task. “We do not accept projects that need volunteer work,” Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Mentor at CU Denver Angie Buckley said. Buckley has been working on these same types of initiatives since the STA’s inception. The program will continue to take on the task of “changing the ‘free student work’ model by taking time to talk to the companies about the benefits of paying a talented student,” Buckley said.
The prospect of entering the working world is never black and white. It can be a gradient of grays as students juggle many different offers and attempt to book themselves for jobs. Besides their specialty, students must market, book, and manage their schedule in addition to maintaining quality client relationships.
CU Denver student Matt Park has felt fully supported during this transition. “Angie also teaches and enhances our skills in terms of finding a lead, tracking a lead, negotiating a deal, and locking it in,” Park said. “More valuable than the experience, though, are the lessons that are available to students. They’re priceless.”
During its creation, some students voiced concerns about the transparency of the STA organization. Citing worries about the tax implications of the organization and the risk of personal liability, students claimed that too much stress was put upon them without their informed consent.
In the months since, the organization has slowly steeped itself with students who understand and accept the terms, and let go of those who did not agree with it. Students like Park suggest that the support from Buckley provides comfort and transparency that would alleviate any previous reservation. “I am here for them all day, every day, no matter when or where,” Buckley said. “They can call or text me anytime.”
As the STA moves forward, it is likely that this entity will continue to forge connections and opportunities for CU Denver students. “Overall, the STA offers networking opportunities, real world experience, and a tremendous amount of knowledge,” Park said. “I would totally recommend it to any student.”